Mix doesn't support your web browser. For a better experience, we recommend using another browser.
Bringing home a terminally ill mother to die, in the time of the coronavirusAfter she landed in the hospital with a broken hip, Parkinson's disease and the novel coronavirus, 84-year-old Dorothy "Poogie" Wyatt Shields made a request of her children: "Bring me home." Her request came as hospital patients around the world were dying alone, separated from their loved ones whether or not they had covid-19 because of visitation restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the virus. Bringing home a terminally ill patient with covid-19 bears extra challenges: In addition to the already daunting responsibility of managing their loved one's end-of-life care, families must take painstaking precautions to keep themselves safe. Julia Shields, 53, one of Poogie Shields' four children, said she had reservations about the risk of infection and how it might affect her family's health and ability to care for her mother. "I didn't want to bring my mom here, and have it where we're all of a sudden collapsed in bed ourselves and can't give her pain medicine and can't take care of her," she said. But she and her siblings were determined to honor their mother's wishes. So they stocked up on masks, gloves, eye protection, shoe protection and scrubs, and converted the mudroom of Julia's Greenwood, Virginia, home west of Charlottesville into a solarium where her mother could be closer to family. Julia said she wasn't sure how long her mother would survive; it could have been a few days or even a few months at her home. "She's such a fighter," she said. Poogie Shields, a former guidance and addiction counselor, had an appetite for adventure, be it camping on the Appalachian Trail or moving her family to Paris for a year while writing a master's thesis. After raising her children in Virginia, she set off to do volunteer work, helping homeless teenagers in Florida and pregnant women facing addiction in Washington,...